What Makes Schmincke Soft Pastels So Good?

Working with Schmincke finest extra soft pastels leads you back to the origin of colour and is a real painting experience rather than simple drawing. Why are Schmincke Pastels so soft and beautiful? It is the unique manufacturing process that makes the pastel so soft and non-crumbly. Watch the video to see how they are made and learn about the unique colours.

Traditionally crafted pastels

It is not possible to produce Schmincke soft pastels using machines because of their particularly fine formulation. The expensive sticks could break. The guaranteed consistency of quality and softness across all production cycles is crucial. This means that artists know that the colour will always have the same quality.

Ever wonder how Schmincke makes their pastels? ‘Worm extruders’ form the pre-kneaded dough into round skeins, which are then detached by hand and cut in a wire-strung frame. The damp sticks have to dry for around eight days before they can be labelled and packed by hand. This is a costly and time consuming process, however it is the only way Schmincke can guarantee homogenous quality and smoothness in all the production cycles, in order that the artist can be assured that his favourite colour shade is consistent throughout our range of finest extra-soft artists’ pastel colours. To see this manufacturing process watch this video below.


  • Each stick is handmade individually – colours that are as soft as velvet and silk
  • 400 brilliant and rich colours
  • Exceptionally strong colour application
  • Best, highly concentrated artists’ pigments
  • Minimum binder content
  • Maximum lightfastness
  • Unique colour mixtures and special colours
  • Also available in sets

Brilliant colours as soft as silk and satin

Schmincke round pastel sticks consist of only the finest artists’ pigments without chalk, and a minimum amount of binder. The binder content is so small that the ground pigments only just achieve a stable bond. It also means that a stick of pastel could be crushed and used a pigment to be mixed with any water based medium to make your own paint.

Unlimited variety of colour

The complete range includes 400 colour shades, divided into 75 colours which each have 5 grades: In addition to the pure colour (D), there is a black graduation (B) and 3 grades of white graduations (H, M, O). The balanced range is supplemented by a 10-step neutral grey series, 5 dark shades, gold, silver, 2 black shades, white and 5 special pearlescent shades for specific effects. This variety of colours is another sign of quality of the finest, extra-soft pastels by Schmincke.

They contain only the purest medium fine ground artists’ pigments, which are in the highest possible concentration. Contrastingly, the binding agent content, is kept to a minimum, which ensures a stable compound. In order to guarantee the highest quality it is necessary to manufacture Schmincke pastels using special recipes which avoid the use of machinery during manufacture.

Full Colour Chart and Schmincke Pastel Brochure. 

The range contains also 5 additional pearl luster effect colours. Pastel paintings will always remain sensitive. Therefore, they should only be treated with a special fixative – like Schmincke fixative for pastels (No. 50 402) – to be used sparingly.

For more insights into getting started in soft pastel read our tip sheet. Soft Pastels: an Introduction


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